Helmevöö – kas linnasakste poekaup või Eesti talunaiste käsitöö? / Beaded Belts – Store-bought Goods for Urban Aristocrats or Estonian Peasant Women’s Handicraft?

Ülli Kont

Abstract


Men’s leather belts decorated with glass bead embroidery comprise a small and little-known, but nevertheless exceptional part of the Estonian ethnographic heritage. The belts can be found in museums in Estonia, but up to the present day they have not been much analysed. Data indicates that beaded belts appeared as part of men’s clothing in the 1820s when they were worn with both national costumes and city-type clothes. Beaded belts were most popular in the second half of the 19th century. As researchers have perceived them to be items of little interest, they have not been consciously associated with traditional folk art and national costume: the belt-making methods and material were not considered traditional because the beads were bought in shops. This is why the various methods used to embroider and sew beaded belts have so far escaped study, and why the author of this article is now making her own contribution to this area.

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ISSN (print) 1736-8138. SV is a publication of the Department on Estonian Native Crafts, University of Tartu's Viljandi Culture Academy.